Trance is perhaps the most emotional musical genre in electronic music. It can make you want to jump for joy or start crying for no reason. It has the power to induce pure happiness in the listener. There are different subgenres of trance that continue to make this music unique. If you're interested in creating your own trance music, whether it's for fun or to go putting your name out loud, here are some steps to help you get started.
Step 1. Understand what makes trance unique
The trance has unique characteristics that make it differ from any other electronic music. This includes, but is not limited to, the factors listed below:
- Emotion. One of the most important characteristics of trance lies in the emotional factor that it induces in the listener. Much of modern trance music emphasizes a "make and break" measure associated with progressive trance, which is good in moderation. Note that trance music did not begin using progressive strengths and destructions until the late 1990s. The initial trance usually kept the same rhythm throughout the song.
- Repetition. The trance is, in general, very repetitive. This is not associated with a negative connotation, since repetition is one of the factors that helps to instill the emotional aspects of the genre. You must be aware of making any repetition flow naturally. Repetition that doesn't flow properly tends to "mimic a broken register," thus making it difficult for the listener to adapt and connect with the sound.
- The black note of the bass. The quarter note helps to maintain the emotional factor that is created by repetition. Almost all trance music has a bass quarter note that usually stays for most of the song. Keep in mind that the quarter note does not have to be very strong; you can choose a more subdued sound. Similarly, many artists will start with a series of ambient sounds and gradually bring the listener to the main melody.
- Blows per minute. Most trance falls in the 130-150 BPM range. It can sometimes drop below 120 GPM, mostly in the environmental trance. But generally it does not exceed 150 GPM, as it begins to enter strong electronic music, which is another genre in itself.
Step 2. Get some inspiration
While copying music from another artist is not the best idea, there is nothing wrong with listening to other artists for inspiration and ideas. Listen to a lot of trance music to determine what you like, what inspires you, and what types of music you would like to do.
- Remember that there are many different subgenres of trance. The sound of trance has changed considerably from what was heard a decade earlier. Make sure you have a good understanding of the trance of the early 90s and the one that is heard today.
- Many of the best artists keep music of their own genre close at hand. This "reference work" ensures that you will maintain the fundamentals of the genre you wish to write a song about. Just as all great painters study their colleagues for inspiration, you should do the same.
Step 3. Listen to various subgenres of trance
Trance may have certain universal characteristics, but its melody can vary tremendously between subgenres. Recognize the characteristics of some of these subgenres:
- Trance "Classic". While this is not a specifically defined subgenre, it does refer to a trance that began in the late 1980s. This subgenre has a tremendous focus on repetition, slowly changing throughout the song. It can be said that the classical trance arose from the "minimalism" of contemporary classical music developed by contemporary composers such as Steve Reich, Terry Riley, La Monte Young, and Philip Glass.
- Acid trance. This type of trance is more similar to the classical trance, except that it is much more hypnotic and "psychedelic." It has a unique sound that is sometimes obtained by playing with a sieve, frets, and oscillators to create a "science fiction" sound.
- Progressive trance. This subgenre defined the popular themes "strengthen and destroy" that are generally associated with trance. By slowly building up a progression of melodies and creating a pseudo "tension", a fit of emotional ecstasy results at the climax of the melody as it is "released." This is sometimes accomplished by creating a short pause in the melody before quickly returning to the main topic. Other common techniques include pauses, rapidly increasing GPMs, and using progressive notes from the fourths, eighths, and sixteenths, etc.
- Trance Goa. This subgenre shares many characteristics of the acid trance, but has a unique "organic" sound. The Goa trance is such a complex and structured subgenre of trance that many other subgenres of trance originate from it.
- Psychedelic trance. Also known as "psytrance", this subgenre is very similar to goa. While the trance goa creates an electronic and futuristic feeling. Psytrance tends to use more sci-fi ambient sounds in conjunction with the techniques used in acid trance.
- Ambient trance. This subgenre tends to use a slower GPM beat and puts less emphasis on the quarter note. Many ambient artists remove the quarter note and use the half note measurement or other measurements. Ambient trance generally uses softer sounds and maintains a "simple tune", while still retaining the repetitive and emotional characteristics associated with trance.
- Techno trance. Techno trance is a fusion between techno and trance. It is very hard. It doesn't focus on a melody, sometimes a melody is used in the ending. It usually focuses around the talent for manipulating a note and editing it to make an industrial synth sound. Some names to check out that have specialized in techno trance are Sander van Doorn, Abel Ramos, Bryan Kearney, Randy Katana, and Marcel Woods.
Step 4. Analyze the music
How is it sectioned and divided? What percussion was just added or removed? How did the melody change? Where is everything going? What kinds of ambient sounds can you hear in the background?
Step 5. Buy a computer with appropriate options
You will need a high quality machine that can handle making and editing sounds if you are looking to produce quality music. Here are some important specs to consider.
- Processor. The Dual Core processor is particularly effective in reducing functionality and improving improvisation while writing trance music. Quad Cores are also brutally effective, but they are expensive. Also, some machines do not yet possess the capabilities to handle the power of the Quad Core processor.
- Hard disk space. Higher quality sounds mean longer sound files. Keep in mind that you are writing music using MP3 quality, which averages a beat range of 128 to 320. You will want the best beat range quality for sounds when working to improve your music. The size of your hard drive can vary significantly, depending on the sounds you plan to use. 250 GB of hard disk is a very liberal amount.
- RAM. Two gigabytes of RAM (2GB) is a good place to start. 1GB of RAM tends to be borderline, and anything under 1GB becomes particularly difficult to work with effectively.
- Sound card. You need a high quality sound card. An internal “Audiophile” M sound card with RCA will do just fine, as will an external “fast track” USB with an RCA microphone. This also works for recording mixes.
- Making music / equipment to edit. It will be described later.
Step 6. Buy or download a music-making program
Ableton Live, Reason, and FL Studio are great programs you can use to help you create beats, breaks, and a bass line (or, if you have a Mac, try GarageBand or EasyBeat, or Logic Pro to compose more advanced stuff. In Linux the LMMS works very well as in Windows). Time and dedication will show the best results.
Step 7. Practice using the program
Develop a feeling for the sounds you can make and for your style. Try modifying the pre-programmed sounds that you like.
Step 8. Learn how a synthesizer works
Oscillators, waves. Filters, LFOs, and the pre-programmer are a good way to start, but programming the sounds yourself will be more beneficial in the long run.
Step 9. Get some tools and instruments to make music
Although using preset melodies and sounds is very useful for beginners making trance music, you'd better create your own sound. There are many IVs (virtual instruments), all of which help you improve the pattern of your music.
- KVR audio is a great place to download IVs, and Synth1 or SuperwaveP8 are good, simple programs for programming synths.
- If you're willing to spend some money (~ $ 90), the Nexus is the IV you'll go to for the best trance sounds. Another IV worth mentioning is the V-Station, which is great for trance-specific production. Vanguard is another cool IV you can get. Also Sylenth1 and Spectrasonic Omnisphere for professionals. Gladiator2 and the Zebra synths are also very good.
- The bass sound in psytrance and trance goa can be difficult to program from something improvised into a general purpose if you are a beginner. Alien303 is a very good start for this until you get the hang of making the sounds yourself.
Step 10. Buy a MIDI board
The M audio MIDI board, Oxygen O2, Keystudio, or M-Audio Axioma or Novation are good for beginners. You will need a program for the MIDI board of your choice. You can download the necessary programs for M Audio directly from its page.
Step 11. Get a studio monitor
KRK, Mackie, Behringer, or Fostex will help you. Make sure they come with at least a 3-inch speaker, you'll need it for the beats and bass in the trance. Also, your speakers should have at least a 2.5 cm (1 inch) high-frequency speaker. Don't waste money on cheap equipment. Well-known brands bear good fruit.
Step 12. Make a mixing record showing your talents
Don't worry if it doesn't sound great at first; you will need to improve with practice. Try to be critical of yourself, but also see things that you can improve. Remember that you will not be at their level until you climb the path. It will take practice.
Step 13. Publish your music
You don't need to go straight to a producer and show him your work, instead you should create a MySpace or Last.fm music page to get your name to fame. Find a way to promote yourself. Remember: if someone doesn't like you, it's just that person's opinion.
Step 14. Promote yourself and stay connected
Once you feel that your productions turn into something positive, try to get a signature. It will be very difficult, but the end result will leave you satisfied. You will need to get at least 100 demos to companies around the world before you can get recognized.
Step 15. Export, supply and upload your music
There are many aspects to consider while doing this.
- Export your Songs from your program. Use whatever format you want (usually. FLAC). Many programs allow you to export in. MP3 as well, but be sure to use the default bitstream variable V0.
- Upload your file using a file sharing site of your choice. There are a large number of these sites, but TouSendIt is particularly notable. It's not free, but it allows you to send songs directly to anyone's email address. Create a direct URL of. MP3 for your file for your archive and copy and paste it to all your demos. Include any extra information you want, like your email, your MySpace, etc.
- Create a MySpace page. You should only upload samples to your page, as there is a limit of about 6 MB. Remember to keep your sound quality above 296 kbps. In this way, you can offer a good sample in good quality, which will attract more visitors. Uploading a part of your songs is also a preventive measure to prevent users from copying your entire songs.
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- Try to be original and create your own sound. This is obviously easier said than done, but if fame is what you are after, originality is what defines any musical artist today, be it for sound, inspiration or character.
- Try to separate yourself from the music. Pretend you are someone else at a dance by listening to your song. This is very important, as it will help you improve in areas where you need it.
- Be patient with yourself, don't give up. You will need time, and a lot. Your first song probably won't be the best. All of the equipment mentioned will be expensive and complicated to use, but it will pay off.
- Ishkur's The Guide to Electronic Music is an excellent website that charts the breakthroughs and divisions of all electronic music, including its own section on trance. Provides examples using sound clips, as well as short descriptions on each respective genre.
- All forms of music are little more than variations on what they were before. There is no excuse, however, for committing an act of plagiarism. When creating music, remember that you are building not only the work of others, but also your own artistic qualities and your musical ideas.
- Repetition is key, but be careful to make sure that the pattern flows well and that you loop continuously. If you can easily "tag" where a wave melody or sound begins or ends, then you have a problem. Try improvising the transition of the waves, slow down the effect, or just use something else.
- Although sometimes you must appropriate certain sub-genres of electronic music, such as strong trance, try not to use instrumental or hackneyed or over-emotional melodies in excess. Synthesized strings are almost always the culprit in cases like these. The trance should be powerful and emotional, but never comical.
- Think of the trance as a puzzle; if you make it complex, you need more and more of the understanding of a listener, if you make it simple, the opposite happens. Generally, do the trance as you see fit. Because no matter what, you always finish a puzzle regardless of how complicated it may be.